Skip to Main Content

Office of Mental Health

Appendix 1
Laws of New York, 1999
Chapter 408

Explanation: Matter that is underscored (example) is new; matter in brackets and struck through ([example]) is old law to be omitted

AN ACT to amend the mental hygiene law, in relation to enhancing the supervision and coordination of care of persons with mental illness in community-based settings by providing assisted outpatient treatment and to amend chapter 560 of the laws of 1994 amending the judiciary law and the mental hygiene law relating to establishing a pilot program of involuntary outpatient treatment, in relation to the effectiveness of such chapter and providing for the repeal of such provision on the expiration thereof
      The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
      Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Kendra's Law".
      § § 2. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that there are mentally ill persons who are capable of living in the community with the help of family, friends and mental health professionals, but who, without routine care and treatment, may relapse and become violent or suicidal, or require hospitalization. The legislature further finds that there are mentally ill persons who can function well and safely in the community with supervision and treatment, but who without such assistance, will relapse and require long periods of hospitalization. The legislature further finds that some mentally ill persons, because of their illness, have great difficulty taking responsibility for their own care, and often reject the outpatient treatment offered to them on a voluntary basis. Family members and caregivers often must stand by helplessly and watch their loved ones and patients decompensate. Effective mechanisms for accomplishing these ends include: the establishment of assisted outpatient treatment as a mode of treatment; improved coordination of care for mentally ill persons living in the community; the expansion of the use of conditional release in psychiatric hospitals; and the improved dissemination of information between and among mental health providers and general hospital emergency rooms. The legislature further finds that if such court-ordered treatment is to achieve its goals, it must be linked to a system of comprehensive care, in which state and local authorities work together to ensure that outpatients receive case management and have access to treatment services. The legislature therefore finds that assisted outpatient treatment as provided in this act is compassionate, not punitive, will restore patients' dignity, and will enable mentally ill persons to lead more productive and satisfying lives. The legislature further finds that many mentally ill persons are more likely to enjoy recovery from non-dangerous, temporary episodes of mental illness when they are engaged in planning the nature of the medications, programs or treatments for such episodes with assistance and support from family, friends and mental health professionals. A health care proxy executed pursuant to article 29-C of the public health law provides mentally ill persons with a means to accept individual responsibility for their own continuing mental health care by providing advance directives concerning their wishes as to medications, programs or treatments that they feel are appropriate when they are temporarily unable to make mental health care decisions. The legislature therefore finds that the voluntary use of such proxies should be encouraged so as to minimize the need for involuntary mental health treatment.
      § § 3. Section 7.17 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new subdivision (f) to read as follows:
(f) (1) The commissioner shall appoint program coordinators of assisted outpatient treatment, who shall be responsible for the oversight and monitoring of assisted outpatient treatment programs established pursuant to section 9.60 of this chapter. Directors of community services of local governmental units shall work in conjunction with such program coordinators to coordinate the implementation of assisted outpatient treatment programs.

(2) The oversight and monitoring role of the program coordinator of the assisted outpatient treatment program shall include each of the following:

(i) that each assisted outpatient receives the treatment provided for in the court order issued pursuant to section 9.60 of this chapter;

(ii) that existing services located in the assisted outpatient's community are utilized whenever practicable;

(iii) that a case manager or assertive community treatment team is designated for each assisted outpatient;

(iv) that a mechanism exists for such case manager, or assertive community treatment team, to regularly report the assisted outpatient's compliance, or lack of compliance with treatment, to the director of the assisted outpatient treatment program; and

(v) that assisted outpatient treatment services are delivered in a timely manner.

(3) The commissioner shall develop standards designed to ensure that case managers or assertive community treatment teams have appropriate training and have clinically manageable caseloads designed to provide effective case management or other care coordination services for persons subject to a court order under section 9.60 of this chapter.

(4) Upon review or receiving notice that services are not being delivered in a timely manner, the program coordinator shall require the director of such assisted outpatient treatment program to immediately commence corrective action and inform the program coordinator of such corrective action. Failure of a director to take corrective action shall be reported by the program coordinator to the commissioner of mental health, as well as to the court which ordered the assisted outpatient treatment.

      4. The opening paragraph of section 9.47 of the mental hygiene law is designated subdivision (a) and a new subdivision (b) is added to read as follows:
      (b) All directors of community services shall be responsible for the filing of petitions for assisted outpatient treatment pursuant to paragraph (vi) of subdivision (e) of section 9.60 of this article, for the receipt and investigation of reports of persons who are alleged to be in need of such treatment and for coordinating the delivery of court ordered services with program coordinators, appointed by the commissioner of mental health, pursuant to subdivision (f) of section 7.17 of this chapter. In discharge of the duties imposed by subdivision (b) of section 9.60 of this article, directors of community services may provide services directly, or may coordinate services with the offices of the department or may contract with any public or private provider to provide services for such programs as may be necessary to carry out the duties imposed pursuant to this subdivision.
      § § 5. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section 9.48 to read as follows:
      § § 9.48 Duties of directors of assisted outpatient treatment programs.
       (a)(1) Directors of assisted outpatient treatment programs established pursuant to section 9.60 of this article shall provide a written report to the program coordinators, appointed by the commissioner of mental health pursuant to subdivision (f) of section 7.17 of this chapter, within three days of the issuance of a court order. The report shall demonstrate that mechanisms are in place to ensure the delivery of services and medications as required by the court order and shall include, but not be limited to the following:
      (i) a copy of the court order;
      (ii) a copy of the written treatment plan;
      (iii) the identity of the case manager or assertive community treatment team, including the name and contact data of the organization which the case manager or assertive community treatment team member represents;
      (iv) the identity of providers of services; and
      (v) the date on which services have commenced or will commence.
      (2) The directors of assisted outpatient treatment programs shall ensure the timely delivery of services described in paragraph one of subdivision
(a) of section 9.60 of this article pursuant to any court order issued under such section. Directors of assisted outpatient treatment programs shall immediately commence corrective action upon receiving notice from program coordinators, that services are not being provided in a timely manner. Such directors shall inform the program coordinator of such corrective action.

      (b) Directors of assisted outpatient treatment programs shall submit quarterly reports to the program coordinators regarding the assisted outpatient treatment program operated or administered by such director. The report shall include the following information:
      (i) the names of individuals served by the program;
      (ii) the percentage of petitions for assisted outpatient treatment that are granted by the court;
      (iii) any change in status of assisted outpatients, including but not limited to the number of individuals who have failed to comply with court ordered assisted outpatient treatment;
      (iv) a description of material changes in written treatment plans of assisted outpatients;
      (v) any change in case managers;
      (vi) a description of the categories of services which have been ordered by the court;
      (vii) living arrangements of individuals served by the program including the number, if any, who are homeless;
      (viii) any other information as required by the commissioner of mental health; and
      (ix) any recommendations to improve the program locally or statewide.
      § § 6. The mental hygiene law is amended by adding a new section 9.60 to read as follows:
      9.60 Assisted outpatient treatment.
      (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
      (1) "assisted outpatient treatment" shall mean categories of outpatient services which have been ordered by the court pursuant to this section. Such treatment shall include case management services or assertive community treatment team services to provide care coordination, and may also include any of the following categories of services: medication; periodic blood tests or urinalysis to determine compliance with prescribed medications; individual or group therapy; day or partial day programming activities; educational and vocational training or activities; alcohol or substance abuse treatment and counseling and periodic tests for the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs for persons with a history of alcohol or substance abuse; supervision of living arrangements; and any other services within a local or unified services plan developed pursuant to article forty-one of this chapter, prescribed to treat the person's mental illness and to assist the person in living and functioning in the community, or to attempt to prevent a relapse or deterioration that may reasonably be predicted to result in suicide or the need for hospitalization.
      (2) "director" shall mean the director of a hospital licensed or operated by the office of mental health which operates, directs and supervises an assisted outpatient treatment program, or the director of community services of a local governmental unit, as such term is defined in section 41.03 of this chapter, which operates, directs and supervises an assisted outpatient treatment program.
      (3) "director of community services" shall have the same meaning as provided in article forty-one of this chapter.
      (4) "assisted outpatient treatment program" shall mean a system to arrange for and coordinate the provision of assisted outpatient treatment, to monitor treatment compliance by assisted outpatients, to evaluate the condition or needs of assisted outpatients, to take appropriate steps to address the needs of such individuals, and to ensure compliance with court orders.
      (5) "assisted outpatient" or "patient" shall mean the person under a court order to receive assisted outpatient treatment.
      (6) "subject of the petition" or "subject" shall mean the person who is alleged in a petition, filed pursuant to the provisions of this section, to meet the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment.
      (7) "correctional facility" or "local correctional facility" shall have the same meaning as defined in section two of the correction law.
      (8) "health care proxy" and "health care agent" shall have the same meaning as defined in article 29-C of the public health law.
      (9) "program coordinator" shall mean an individual appointed by the commissioner of mental health, pursuant to subdivision (f) of section 7.17 of this chapter, who is responsible for the oversight and monitoring of assisted outpatient treatment programs.
      (b) The director of a hospital licensed or operated by the office of mental health may operate, direct and supervise an assisted outpatient treatment program as provided in this section, upon approval by the commissioner of mental health. The director of community services of a local governmental unit shall operate, direct and supervise an assisted outpatient treatment program as provided in this section, upon approval by the commissioner of mental health. Directors of community services of local governmental units shall be permitted to satisfy the provisions of this subdivision through the operation of joint assisted outpatient treatment programs. Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to preclude the combination or coordination of efforts between and among local governmental units and hospitals in providing and coordinating assisted outpatient treatment.
      (c) Criteria for assisted outpatient treatment. A patient may be ordered to obtain assisted outpatient treatment if the court finds that:
      (1) the patient is eighteen years of age or older; and
      (2) the patient is suffering from a mental illness; and
      (3) the patient is unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision, based on a clinical determination; and
      (4) the patient has a history of lack of compliance with treatment for mental illness that has:
      (i) at least twice within the last thirty-six months been a significant factor in necessitating hospitalization in a hospital, or receipt of services in a forensic or other mental health unit of a correctional facility or a local correctional facility, not including any period during which the person was hospitalized or incarcerated immediately preceding the filing of the petition or;
      (ii) resulted in one or more acts of serious violent behavior toward self or others or threats of, or attempts at, serious physical harm to self or others within the last forty-eight months, not including any period in which the person was hospitalized or incarcerated immediately preceding the filing of the petition; and
      (5) the patient is, as a result of his or her mental illness, unlikely to voluntarily participate in the recommended treatment pursuant to the treatment plan; and
      (6) in view of the patient's treatment history and current behavior, the patient is in need of assisted outpatient treatment in order to prevent a relapse or deterioration which would be likely to result in serious harm to the patient or others as defined in section 9.01 of this article; and
      (7) it is likely that the patient will benefit from assisted outpatient treatment; and
      (8) if the patient has executed a health care proxy as defined in article 29-C of the public health law, that any directions included in such proxy shall be taken into account by the court in determining the written treatment plan.
      (d) Nothing herein shall preclude a person with a health care proxy from being subject to a petition pursuant to this chapter and consistent with article 29-C of the public health law.
      (e) Petition to the court. (1) A petition for an order authorizing assisted outpatient treatment may be filed in the supreme or county court in the county in which the subject of the petition is present or reasonably believed to be present. A petition to obtain an order authorizing assisted outpatient treatment may be initiated only by the following persons:
      (i) any person eighteen years of age or older with whom the subject of the petition resides; or
      (ii) the parent, spouse, sibling eighteen years of age or older, or child eighteen years of age or older of the subject of the petition; or
      (iii) the director of a hospital in which the subject of the petition is hospitalized; or
      (iv) the director of any public or charitable organization, agency or home providing mental health services to the subject of the petition in whose institution the subject of the petition resides; or
      (v) a qualified psychiatrist who is either super- vising the treatment of or treating the subject of the petition for a mental illness; or
      (vi) the director of community services, or his or her designee, or the social services official, as defined in the social services law, of the city or county in which the subject of the petition is present or reasonably believed to be present; or
      (vii) a parole officer or probation officer assigned to supervise the subject of the petition.
      (2) The petition shall state:
      (i) each of the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment as set forth in subdivision (c) of this section;
      (ii) facts which support such petitioner's belief that the person who is the subject of the petition meets each criterion, provided that the hearing on the petition need not be limited to the stated facts; and
      (iii) that the subject of the petition is present, or is reasonably believed to be present, within the county where such petition is filed.
      (3) The petition shall be accompanied by an affirmation or affidavit of a physician, who shall not be the petitioner, and shall state either that:
      (i) such physician has personally examined the person who is the subject of the petition no more than ten days prior to the submission of the petition, he or she recommends assisted outpatient treatment for the subject of the petition, and he or she is willing and able to testify at the hearing on the petition; or
      (ii) no more than ten days prior to the filing of the petition, such physician or his or her designee has made appropriate attempts to elicit the cooperation of the subject of the petition but has not been successful in persuading the subject to submit to an examination, that such physician has reason to suspect that the subject of the petition meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment, and that such physician is willing and able to examine the subject of the petition and testify at the hearing on the petition.
      (f) Service. The petitioner shall cause written notice of the petition to be given to the subject of the petition and a copy thereof shall be given personally or by mail to the persons listed in section 9.29 of this article, the mental hygiene legal service, the current health care agent appointed by the subject of the petition, if any such agent is known to the petitioner, the appropriate program coordinator, the appropriate director of community services, if such director is not the petitioner.
      (g) Right to counsel. The subject of the petition shall have the right to be represented by the mental hygiene legal service, or other counsel at the expense of the subject of the petition, at all stages of a proceeding commenced under this section.
      (h) Hearing. (1) Upon receipt by the court of the petition submitted pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section, the court shall fix the date for a hearing at a time not later than three days from the date such petition is received by the court, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Adjournments shall be permitted only for good cause shown. In granting adjournments, the court shall consider the need for further examination by a physician or the potential need to provide assisted outpatient treatment expeditiously. The court shall cause the subject of the petition, any other person receiving notice pursuant to subdivision (f) of this section, the petitioner, the physician whose affirmation or affidavit accompanied the petition, the appropriate director, and such other persons as the court may determine to be advised of such date. Upon such date, or upon such other date to which the proceeding may be adjourned, the court shall hear testimony and, if it be deemed advisable and the subject of the petition is available, examine the subject alleged to be in need of assisted outpatient treatment in or out of court. If the subject of the petition does not appear at the hearing, and appropriate attempts to elicit the attendance of the subject have failed, the court may conduct the hearing in such subject's absence. If the hearing is conducted without the subject of the petition present, the court shall set forth the factual basis for conducting the hearing without the presence of the subject of the petition.
      (2) The court shall not order assisted outpatient treatment unless an examining physician, who has personally examined the subject of the petition within the time period commencing ten days before the filing of the petition, testifies in person at the hearing.
      (3) If the subject of the petition has refused to be examined by a physician, the court may request the subject to consent to an examination by a physician appointed by the court. If the subject of the petition does not consent and the court finds reasonable cause to believe that the allegations in the petition are true, the court may order peace officers, acting pursuant to their special duties, or police officers who are members of an authorized police department or force, or of a sheriff's department to take the subject of the petition into custody and transport him or her to a hospital for examination by a physician. Retention of the subject of the petition under such order shall not exceed twentyfour hours. The examination of the subject of the petition may be performed by the physician whose affirmation or affidavit accompanied the petition pursuant to paragraph three of subdivision (e) of this section, if such physician is privileged by such hospital or otherwise authorized by such hospital to do so. If such examination is performed by another physician of such hospital, the examining physician shall be authorized to consult with the physician whose affirmation or affidavit accompanied the petition regarding the issues of whether the allegations in the petition are true and whether the subject meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment.
      (4) A physician who testifies pursuant to paragraph two of this subdivision shall state the facts which support the allegation that the subject meets each of the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment, and the treatment is the least restrictive alternative, the recommended assisted outpatient treatment, and the rationale for the recommended assisted outpatient treatment. If the recommended assisted outpatient treatment includes medication, such physician's testimony shall describe the types or classes of medication which should be authorized, shall describe the beneficial and detrimental physical and mental effects of such medication, and shall recommend whether such medication should be self-administered or administered by authorized personnel.
      (5) The subject of the petition shall be afforded an opportunity to present evidence, to call witnesses on behalf of the subject, and to cross-examine adverse witnesses.
      (i) (1) Written treatment plan. The court shall not order assisted outpatient treatment unless an examining physician appointed by the appropriate director develops and provides to the court a proposed written treatment plan. The written treatment plan shall include case management services or assertive community treatment teams to provide care coordination. The written treatment plan also shall include all categories of services, as set forth in paragraph one of subdivision (a) of this section, which such physician recommends that the subject of the petition should receive. If the written treatment plan includes medication, it shall state whether such medication should be self-administered or administered by authorized personnel, and shall specify type and dosage range of medication most likely to provide maximum benefit for the subject. If the written treatment plan includes alcohol or substance abuse counseling and treatment, such plan may include a provision requiring relevant testing for either alcohol or illegal substances provided the physician's clinical basis for recommending such plan provides sufficient facts for the court to find (i) that such person has a history of alcohol or substance abuse that is clinically related to the mental illness; and (ii) that such testing is necessary to prevent a relapse or deterioration which would be likely to result in serious harm to the person or others. In developing such a plan, the physician shall provide the following persons with an opportunity to actively participate in the development of such plan: the subject of the petition; the treating physician; and upon the request of the patient, an individual significant to the patient including any relative, close friend or individual otherwise concerned with the welfare of the subject. If the petitioner is a director, such plan shall be provided to the court no later than the date of the hearing on the petition.
      (2) The court shall not order assisted outpatient treatment unless a physician testifies to explain the written proposed treatment plan. Such testimony shall state the categories of assisted outpatient treatment recommended, the rationale for each such category, facts which establish that such treatment is the least restrictive alternative, and, if the recommended assisted outpatient treatment includes medication, the types or classes of medication recommended, the beneficial and detrimental physical and mental effects of such medication, and whether such medication should be selfadministered or administered by an authorized professional. If the petitioner is a director such testimony shall be given at the hearing on the petition.
      (j) Disposition. (1) If after hearing all relevant evidence, the court finds that the subject of the petition does not meet the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment, the court shall dismiss the petition.
      (2) If after hearing all relevant evidence, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the petition meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment, and there is no appropriate and feasible less restrictive alternative, the court shall be authorized to order the subject to receive assisted outpatient treatment for an initial period not to exceed six months. In fashioning the order, the court shall specifically make findings by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed treatment is the least restrictive treatment appropriate and feasible for the subject. The order shall state the categories of assisted outpatient treatment, as set forth in subdivision (a) of this section, which the subject is to receive, and the court may not order treatment that has not been recommended by the examining physician and included in the written treatment plan for assisted outpatient treatment as required by subdivision (i) of this section.
(3) If after hearing all relevant evidence the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the subject of the petition meets the criteria for assisted outpatient treatment, and the court has yet to be provided with a written proposed treatment plan and testimony pursuant to subdivision (i) of this section, the court shall order the director of community services to provide the court with such plan and testimony no later than the third day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, immediately following the date of such order. Upon receiving such plan and testimony, the court may order assisted outpatient treatment as provided in paragraph two of this subdivision.
      (4) A court may order the patient to selfadminister psychotropic drugs or accept the administration of such drugs by authorized personnel as part of an assisted outpatient treatment program. Such order may specify the type and dosage range of such psychotropic drugs and such order shall be effective for the duration of such assisted outpatient treatment.
      (5) If the petitioner is the director of a hospital that operates an assisted outpatient treatment program, the court order shall direct the hospital director to provide or arrange for all categories of assisted outpatient treatment for the assisted outpatient throughout the period of the order. For all other persons, the order shall require the director of community services of the appropriate local governmental unit to provide or arrange for all categories of assisted outpatient treatment for the assisted outpatient throughout the period of the order.
      (6) The director or his or her designee shall apply to the court for approval before instituting a proposed material change in the assisted outpatient treatment order unless such change is contemplated in the order. Non-material changes may be instituted by the assisted outpatient treatment program without court approval. For the purposes of this subdivision, a material change shall mean an addition or deletion of a category of assisted outpatient treatment from the order of the court, or any deviation without the patient's consent from the terms of an existing order relating to the administration of psychotropic drugs. Any such application for approval shall be served upon those persons required to be served with notice of a petition for an order authorizing assisted outpatient treatment.
      (k) Applications for additional periods of treatment. If the director determines that the condition of such patient requires further assisted outpatient treatment, the director shall apply prior to the expiration of the period of assisted outpatient treatment ordered by the court for a second or subsequent order authorizing continued assisted outpatient treatment for a period not to exceed one year from the date of the order. The procedures for obtaining any order pursuant to this subdivision shall be in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing subdivisions of this section, provided that the time period included in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) of paragraph four of subdivision (c) of this section shall not be applicable in determining the appropriateness of additional periods of assisted outpatient treatment. Any court order requiring periodic blood tests or urinalysis for the presence of alcohol or illegal drugs shall be subject to review after six months by the physician who developed the written treatment plan or another physician designated by the director, and such physician shall be authorized to terminate such blood tests or urinalysis without further action by the court.
      (l) Application for an order to stay, vacate or modify. In addition to any other right or remedy available by law with respect to the order for assisted outpatient treatment, the patient, mental hygiene legal service, or anyone acting on the patient's behalf may apply on notice to the appropriate director and the original petitioner, to the court to stay, vacate or modify the order.
      (m) Appeals. Review of an order issued pursuant to this section shall be had in like manner as specified in section 9.35 of this article.
      (n) Failure to comply with assisted outpatient treatment. Where in the clinical judgment of a physician, the patient has failed or has refused to comply with the treatment ordered by the court, and in the physician's clinical judgment, efforts were made to solicit compliance, and, in the clinical judgment of such physician, such patient may be in need of involuntary admission to a hospital pursuant to section 9.27 of this article, or for whom immediate observation, care and treatment may be necessary pursuant to section 9.39 or 9.40 of this article, such physician may request the director, the director's designee, or persons designated pursuant to section 9.37 of this article, to direct the removal of such patient to an appropriate hospital for an examination to determine if such person has a mental illness for which hospitalization is necessary pursuant to section 9.27, 9.39 or 9.40 of this article. Furthermore, if such assisted outpatient refuses to take medications as required by the court order, or he or she refuses to take, or fails a blood test, urinalysis, or alcohol or drug test as required by the court order, such physician may consider such refusal or failure when determining whether the assisted outpatient is in need of an examination to determine whether he or she has a mental illness for which hospitalization is necessary. Upon the request of such physician, the director, the director's designee, or persons designated pursuant to section 9.37 of this article, may direct peace officers, when acting pursuant to their special duties, or police officers who are members of an authorized police department or force or of a sheriff's department to take into custody and transport any such person to the hospital operating the assisted outpatient treatment program or to any hospital authorized by the director of community services to receive such persons. Such law enforcement officials shall carry out such directive. Upon the request of such physician, the director, the director's designee, or person designated pursuant to section 9.37 of this article, an ambulance service, as defined by subdivision two of section three thousand one of the public health law, or an approved mobile crisis outreach team as defined in section 9.58 of this article shall be authorized to take into custody and transport any such person to the hospital operating the assisted outpatient treatment program, or to any other hospital authorized by the director of community services to receive such persons. Such person may be retained for observation, care and treatment and further examination in the hospital for up to seventy-two hours to permit a physician to determine whether such person has a mental illness and is in need of involuntary care and treatment in a hospital pursuant to the provisions of this article. Any continued involuntary retention in such hospital beyond the initial seventy- two hour period shall be in accordance with the provisions of this article relating to the involuntary admission and retention of a person. If at any time during the seventytwo hour period the person is determined not to meet the involuntary admission and retention provisions of this article, and does not agree to stay in the hospital as a voluntary or informal patient, he or she must be released. Failure to comply with an order of assisted outpatient treatment shall not be grounds for involuntary civil commitment or a finding of contempt of court.
      (o) Effect of determination that a person is in need of assisted outpatient treatment. The determination by a court that a patient is in need of assisted outpatient treatment under this section shall not be construed as or deemed to be a determination that such patient is incapacitated pursuant to article eighty-one of this chapter.
      (p) False petition. A person making a false statement or providing false information or false testimony in a petition or hearing under this section is subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to article one hundred seventy-five or article two hundred ten of the penal law.
      (q) Exception. Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the ability of the director of a hospital to receive, admit, or retain patients who otherwise meet the provisions of this article regarding receipt, retention or admission.
      (r) Educational materials. The office of mental health, in consultation with the office of court administration, shall prepare educational and training materials on the use of this section, which shall be made available to local governmental units as defined in article forty-one of this chapter, providers of services, judges, court personnel, law enforcement officials and the general public.
      § § 7. Subdivision (h) of section 9.61 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 338 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
      (h) Applications for additional periods of treatment. If the director of such hospital determines that the condition of such patient requires further involuntary outpatient treatment, the director shall apply prior to the earlier of April first, two thousand or the expiration of the period of involuntary outpatient treatment ordered by the court for an order authorizing continued involuntary outpatient treatment for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty days from the date of the order. The procedures for obtaining any order pursuant to this subdivision shall be in accordance with the provisions of the foregoing subdivisions of this section. The period for further involuntary outpatient treatment authorized by any subsequent order under this subdivision shall not exceed one hundred eighty days from the date of the order. [Provided, further] Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any order authorizing involuntary outpatient treatment, issued pursuant to this section shall expire on [August tenth, nineteen hundred ninety-nine, unless otherwise provided by law] or before September thirtieth, two thousand.
      § § 8. Section 6 of chapter 560 of the laws of 1994, amending the judiciary law and the mental hygiene law relating to establishing a pilot program of involuntary outpatient treatment, as amended by chapter 338 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows:
      § § 6. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire [August 10, 1999] September 30, 2000 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed.
      § § 9. Section 9.61 of the mental hygiene law, as added by chapter 678 of the laws of 1994, is renumbered section 9.63. 10. Paragraph 1 of subdivision (e) of section 29.15 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 789 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
      1. In the case of an involuntary patient on conditional release, the director may terminate the conditional release and order the patient to return to the facility at any time during the period for which retention was authorized, if, in the director's judgment, the patient needs in-patient care and treatment and the conditional release is no longer appropriate; provided, however, that in any such case, the director shall cause written notice of such patient's return to be given to the mental hygiene legal service. [If, at any time prior to the expiration of thirty days from the date of return to the facility, he or any relative or friend or the mental hygiene legal service gives notice in writing to the director of request for hearing on the question of the suitability of such patient's return to the facility, a hearing shall be held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter relating to the involuntary admission of a person] The director shall cause the patient to be retained for observation, care and treatment and further examination in a hospital for up to seventytwo hours if a physician on the staff of the hospital determines that such person may have a mental illness and may be in need of involuntary care and treatment in a hospital pursuant to the provisions of article nine of this chapter. Any continued retention in such hospital beyond the initial seventy-two hour period shall be in accordance with the provisions of this chapter relating to the involuntary admission and retention of a person. If at any time during the seventy-two hour period the person is determined not to meet the involuntary admission and retention provisions of this chapter, and does not agree to stay in the hospital as a voluntary or informal patient, he or she must be released, either conditionally or unconditionally.
      § § 11. Section 29.19 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 843 of the laws of 1980, is amended to read as follows:
      § § 29.19 Powers and duties of peace officers acting pursuant to their special duties and police officers to apprehend, restrain, and transport persons to facilities.
      A person who has been committed or admitted to a department facility or a hospital licensed or operated by the office of mental health and who has been reported as escaped therefrom or from lawful custody, or who resists or evades lawful custody; and any patient for whom the director of a hospital operated by the office of mental health, or the director's designee, has terminated a conditional release and ordered such patient to return to such facility; and any patient for whom a director of an assisted outpatient treatment program, as defined in subdivision (a) of section 9.60 of this chapter, or the director's designee, or anyone designated pursuant to section 9.37 of this chapter, has directed the removal to a hospital pursuant to subdivision (n) of section 9.60 of this chapter, may be apprehended, restrained, transported to, and returned to such school or hospital by any peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, or any police officer who is a member of an authorized police department or force or of a sheriff's department, and it shall be the duty of any such officer to assist any representative of a department or licensed facility, or an assisted outpatient treatment program, to take into custody any such person or patient upon the request of such representative, director or designee.
      § § 12. Subdivisions (b) and (d) of section 33.13 of the mental hygiene law, as amended by chapter 912 of the laws of 1984, are amended to read as follows:
      (b) The commissioners may require that statistical information about patients or clients be reported to the offices. [Names of patients treated at out-patient or non-residential facilities, at hospitals licensed by the office of mental health and at general hospitals shall not be required as part of any such reports.]
      (d) Nothing in this section shall prevent the electronic or other exchange of information concerning patients or clients, including identification, between and among (i) facilities or others providing services for such patients or clients pursuant to an approved local or unified services plan, as defined in article forty-one of this chapter, or pursuant to agreement with the department, and (ii) the department or any of its licensed or operated facilities. [Information] Furthermore, subject to the prior approval of the commissioner of mental health, hospital emergency services licensed pursuant to article twenty-eight of the public health law shall be authorized to exchange information concerning patients or clients electronically or otherwise with other hospital emergency services licensed pursuant to article twenty-eight of the public health law and/or hospitals licensed or operated by the office of mental health; provided that such exchange of information is consistent with standards, developed by the commissioner of mental health, which are designed to ensure confi- dentiality of such information. Additionally, information so exchanged shall be kept confidential and any limitations on the release of such information imposed on the party giving the information shall apply to the party receiving the information.
      § § 13. Subdivision (a) of section 41.13 of the mental hygiene law is amended by adding two new paragraphs 15 and 16 to read as follows:
      15. administer, supervise or operate any assisted outpatient treatment program of a local governmental unit pursuant to section 9.60 of this chapter and provide that all necessary services are planned for and made available for individuals committed under the program.
      16. identify and plan for the provision of care coordination, emergency services, and other needed services for persons who are identified as high-need patients, as such term is defined by the commissioner of mental health.
      § § 14. Subdivision (c) of section 47.03 of the mental hygiene law, as added by chapter 789 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
      (c) To provide legal services and assistance to patients or residents and their families related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such persons, to provide legal services and assistance to subjects of a petition or patients subject to section 9.60 of this chapter, and to inform patients or residents, their families and, in proper cases, others interested in the patients' or residents' welfare of the availability of other legal resources which may be of assistance in matters not directly related to the admission, retention, and care and treatment of such patients or residents;
      § § 15. (a) Within amounts appropriated therefor, the commissioner of mental health shall provide grants to each county and the city of New York, which shall be used by each such county or city, to provide medication, and other services necessary to prescribe and administer medication to treat mental illness during the pendency of a medical assistance eligibility determination. Such eligibility determination shall be completed in a timely and expeditious manner as required by applicable regulations of the commissioner of health. Counties or the city shall use such grants to provide medications prescribed to treat mental illness for individuals for whom the process of applying for medical assistance benefits has been commenced prior to or within one week of discharge or release and who: (1) are discharged from a hospital, as defined in section 1.03 of the mental hygiene law, or (2) have received services in or from a forensic or similar mental health unit of a correctional facility or local correctional facility as defined in section two of the correction law. (b) Such grants to provide medications shall be subject to the commissioner's approval and supervision of an efficient and effective plan submitted by a county or the city of New York. Such plans shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (i) the process by which the county or the city of New York will improve the timely and expeditious filing of medical assistance applications and coordinate the filing of applications for other public benefits for which the population described in subdivision (a) of this section may be eligible; (ii) the process by which medications prescribed to treat mental illness for such individuals will be available at or near the time of release or discharge; (iii) a specific description of the process by which such individuals will be referred to a county or city provider, or a provider which contracts with the county or city, to provide medication at or near the time of release or discharge; and (iv) the process to provide information necessary for the New York state office of mental health to file appropriate medical assistance claims.
      (c) Further, upon application of a county or the city of New York, and within the amounts appropriated therefor, the commissioner of mental health shall be authorized to provide grants to such county or city to be used to assist the local governmental units, as defined in section 41.03 of the mental hygiene law, in the development of plans pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section, or to be used at local correctional facilities to improve the coordination between the individuals defined in subdivision (a) of this section and the appropriate county representative or other individual who will provide the psychiatric medications available under this program as determined in the plans approved in subdivision (b) of this section, and to assist such individuals in applying for medical assistance and other public benefits. The commissioner of mental health is hereby authorized to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement this section.
      § § 16. Report and evaluation. The commissioner of mental health shall issue an interim report on or before January 1, 2003 and a final report on or before March 1, 2005. Such reports shall be submitted to the governor and the chairpersons of the senate and assembly mental health committees, and shall include information concerning the characteristics and demographics of assisted outpatients; the incidence of homelessness, hospitalization and incarceration of patients before assisted outpatient treatment to the extent available, and information on such incidence during assisted outpatient treatment; outcomes of judicial proceedings, including the percentage of petitions for assisted outpatient treatment that are granted by the court; referral outcomes, including the time frames for service delivery; reasons for closed cases; utilization of existing and new services; and recommendations for changes in statute.
      § § 17. Separability clause. If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this act shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be con- fined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
      § § 18. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that section fifteen of this act shall take effect April 1, 2000, provided, further, that subdivision (e) of section 9.60 of the mental hygiene law as added by section six of this act shall be effective 90 days after this act shall become law; and that this act shall expire and be deemed repealed June 30, 2005; and, provided, further, that the amendments to section 9.61 of the mental hygiene law made by section seven of this act shall not affect the expiration of such section and shall be deemed to expire therewith.

Back  | Next